Video and pictures capture dramatic horse rescue

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HOOPER, Weber County — Animal control officers and neighbors in Weber County had their hands full in Hooper Monday after a horse fell into an 8-foot hole that opened up during a rainstorm.

Weber County animal services Lt. Chad Ferrin said neighbors had heavy-duty machinery and officers had straps to carefully hoist the horse out of the hole.

“You look at those pictures, you think ‘how are we going to do this!’ And we’ve got to do it!” Ferrin said. “We’ve just got to get it done.”

Fortunately, Ferrin said the plan worked and “Brutus” made it out of the hole uninjured, even though his neck was pinned to one side in the hole and he didn’t have much room to move.

The horse seemed to be in good spirits in his owner’s barn Tuesday afternoon.

“You could tell he just was relaxed that, ‘OK, I can stand, I’m back with my owner and everything’s OK now,’ ” officer Christopher Walker recalled.

Ferrin said it appeared the hole was really a hollowed out, 6-foot-wide corrugated pipe that a previous property owner had used to collect irrigation water.

Unknown to the current owner, Ferrin said the prior owner covered the area over with plywood and sand.

He remained calm the whole time. I think he knew what was going on and tried to offer as much help as he could.

–Weber County animal services Lt. Chad Ferrin

“With all the recent rain and stuff we’ve had, it saturated the ground, caused the boards to become weak and as the horse stood here at the gate, must have collapsed the wood underneath him,” Ferrin theorized.

Ferrin said Brutus could have been “torn up” if he had struggled, but Walker and others were able to keep the horse relatively calm through the ordeal.

“He remained calm the whole time,” Ferrin said. “I think he knew what was going on and tried to offer as much help as he could.”


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